Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh, the Weather Outside is...

Frightful! So we are currently experiencing the Oklahoma Blizzard of 2009! Seriously, Oklahoma is having a blizzard...All of the major interstates in the state are closed, cars are stranded all over the state, and the highway patrol is missing Christmas with their families to rescue those that are stranded. Matt and I are up in Tulsa and couldn't make it to Duncan for Christmas. While I am sad to be missing Christmas morning with my family, I am thankful that all of our family is safe and sound. We're hoping to make it to Duncan tomorrow, provided that the roads are cleared. Here are some pictures from around Oklahoma (I would show you the pictures from our camera, but it's hard to take pictures when the camera is left in the dog's bag in Duncan!)...so these pics are from the news website:






Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmastime...

Well, despite Matt's greatest efforts to the contrary, we have completed our Christmas decorating. It's not as impressive as mom's house by any means, but then again we aren't having family Christmas and church parties either...so I guess it will do. Hope you're having a wonderful day!

The Christmas tree (thanks Mom & Dad for the hand-me-down):


The stockings I made the year we got married (love them, but Matt's mad that I didn't make one for Lucy):

I framed some of last year's Christmas Cards for the mantle:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thanksgiving...

Well, somehow I always manage to spend an entire week in Oklahoma with friends and family and not take a single picture! I did take some with my parents' camera, but it is at their house. So, no family Thanksgiving pictures to share. However, we did host a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner at our house the week before Thanksgiving. The turkey (my first attempt at cooking one) turned out beautifully (thanks to Matt & his help in the cooking process),


and everyone else contributed delicious delights that made our Thanksgiving feast complete. What a wonderful evening!




On another note, our house guests have moved out, so Matt and I are back to living alone in our big ol' house (well, it's really not big, but after that Chicago apartment, it feels like a mansion!). We're slowly getting things back to normal, and we even started our Christmas decorating last night (pictures soon to follow). I love the holiday season!

School is slowly getting better. Some days I still feel like I'm going crazy, and some of the kids really know how to push my buttons, but I feel like I'm handling the craziness of it all better than I did at first. At least I tell myself that I am. With only 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas, I just might survive this semester!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Car...

Well, I'm obviously way behind on blogging. The job has me snowed under, and I feel like I'm constantly running to catch up. But, I promised my mom several days ago that I would post pictures of my NEW CAR!!! Well, it's new to me at least. She kindly reminded me tonight that I have failed to do so. So, here you go...It's a 2004 Toyota Highlander, and I love it! RIP Old Red...there's a new car in town!



I will write more later, but for now I have to do lesson plans & go to bed. It's past my bedtime already!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Classroom

Well, today was my first day at work. We have 4 days of inservice this week, and then school starts on Monday! I have to say, I'm a little overwhelmed. The classroom was a mess when I arrived, and there is absolutely nothing on the walls (except for some border half way hanging off the wall). But, I'm sure it will all come together eventually. I have some wonderful friends who have offered to help & have shared supplies with me (thanks Taryn & Vivian!), so I think I'll get it together! Here are some pictures from this morning...after I had straightened up a few things (but not much). Maybe everyone won't be super excited to see these, but I know my mom wants to see them :)

1. A picture of the room from the entryway:


2. A picture of the room from the other side (by my desk):


3. The entryway with cubbies, cabinets, and a bathroom:


4. Storage behind my desk:


Hopefully by the end of the week I can post pictures that look much better!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Drumroll Please...

I got a job!!! Yes, it's true. I am so excited! Matt and I were waiting to meet some friends for dinner, when I noticed that I had a voicemail. That's strange, I never heard my phone ring today, I thought. So, I check the voicemail...and it's the principal at Dozier Elementary, and she said she went ahead and called downtown (the central office for public schools) and hired me for a 5th grade teaching position!! What?! Seriously? I had talked to her a couple of times, and knew she was interested in me, but the last time I talked to her she said just to let her know when I finally got to Montgomery, so this was a total surprise! It was 8:00 pm by the time I got the message, so I have no further details...except she said it could change before school starts so I might not stay in 5th grade. AND, Matt had a good conversation with someone today about the possibility of a job, so I think things will fall into place for him too. Praise God! Like my mom said, I just needed to be patient & pray. I had the praying part down, but the patience was getting me! Well, it's late & I'm tired...and we have to enjoy as much of tomorrow as possible because it's our last day in Chicago. Thank you to all who have prayed for my job situation. I ask you to continue to pray for Matt's, as well as our travels this weekend. Love to all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nearing the end...

Well, our time in Chicago is quickly winding down, and I have to say we're approaching our last day with mixed feelings. We both really LOVE Chicago (in spite of the bitterly cold winters) and are really enjoying our time here. We have made some wonderful friends, and we certainly aren't eager to leave them or this beautiful city. Many of our friends here are from other countries, and they will all be returning home soon as well. So this brings sadness, since we truly don't know when or if we will ever see them again. Then, on the flip side, we are returning to Montgomery where we also have wonderful friends, a house we love (which will feel like a mansion after living in our tiny apartment) and, hopefully, new jobs!

To avoid having to sort out all these mixed emotions, we are trying to fill our last few days here with as much fun, excitement, and time with friends as possible! We are determined to see and do everything that we can (and can afford) before we leave. Luckily, there are tons of free things to do in Chicago all the time! Last weekend, Matt and I walked down to Navy Pier to watch a sailboat parade before their race to Macinac Island. This week was busy with all sorts of fun! We went on an Architecture Boat Cruise along the Chicago river (for half price!), helped some of our friends move, attended the Taste of Lincoln Park (which is a street festival), went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, said goodbye to our friend Mercy (who is headed to NY to take the Bar Exam), enjoyed eating on the sidewalk patios of our new favorite hot dog place, Portillos, and did our best not to think about leaving! Here are some pics for you to enjoy...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back in Chicagoland....

Well, honestly we have been back in Chicago for almost 2 weeks. I have just been too lazy to get on here and blog. We had a fabulous time on our travels...although I just looked at our camera & realized that I didn't take a single picture while we were gone. Not one. So those fun swim days with the nieces, celebrating our birthdays & anniversary, seeing the fam from California...I guess I'll just have to keep them in my memory. Maybe Facebook can provide me with someone else's pics for memories. Anyway, here's a quick rundown of what we did on our LONG and exciting trip!

1. We took the Amtrack to Kirksville, Missouri where we visited Grandma & Grandpa Bell, aunts, uncles, & cousins. Aunt Elaine had a graduation party for Matt & we got to watch old family movies that Uncle Glenn brought! Thanks, Elaine, for letting us stay with you & hosting a fun party for Matt!

2. We drove 6 hours back to Chicago where we met Jen & Misa for a short weekend in Chicago. Matt, Jen, & Misa went to the US vs. Honduras game, which they assure me was very fun & exciting (it was cold & rainy, so I opted to stay home & finish packing for the rest of our trip).

3. Drove from Chicago to Alabama for a few, hectic days of interviews, handing out resumes & squeezing in some time for friends! Matt had 2 interviews, I had several. He is still waiting to hear from one of the firms he interviewed with (they told him this week it will be 2-3 more weeks), and I'm still waiting for a job offer! (side not, I had 2 phone interviews last Friday & am eagerly-somewhat impatiently-waiting to hear back). The job situation for Matt is very promising & I'm praying a lot about my job!

4. Drove from Chicago to Duncan. We spent about a week in Duncan, for my brother's HUGE graduation party! He graduated from massage therapy school, and friends from near & far were there to celebrate. Mom & I created a fun theme with black & lime green, and Aunt Paula provided a great cake with a picture of Daren giving a massage on it! What a wonderful way to celebrate! We also spent some quality time playing Wii, sleeping late, and I organized both bathrooms (although organizing bathrooms might not sound fun to you, I was THRILLED! I like to say that organizing is my hobby!)

5. Drove from Duncan to Tulsa for a weekend with Matt's family, celebration of Father's Day & my birthday. We went to the pool on Saturday & Sunday with the nieces. Very fun! Also had a lovely lunch at Brook's house and spent time at the hospital with MeMa.

6. Drove from Tulsa to OKC & spent the week doing the "tour of homes." Several of our friends in OKC have new houses, so we spent time with them & stayed at their houses. It was great fun to have a chance to catch up & to see that we all have very similar decorating tastes! We also celebrated Matt's birthday at Flattire Burger with his sisters & the girls. The highlight of that dinner was the Smore's we had for dessert!


7. Drove from OKC back to Duncan where my parents planned a graduation party for Matt & Me. Again, we got to see friends from near and far, and had the pleasure of eating Dad's fajitas! Amazing! The rest of the week was spent relaxing in Duncan & eating at new restaraunts (who knew there were so many places I had never tried in Duncan!). We also got to see Chris, Regina, Caleb & Aidan who flew in from LA! Oh, and we rode in a fancy car in the 4th of July parade.

8. Drove back to OKC from Duncan for Brenton's wedding (Matt's college roommate), stayed with Heather & Ryan, & had a nice lunch at Hideaway pizza for Matt's birthday (have you noticed that he likes to stretch out his birthday celebrations?)

9. Drove back to Tulsa from OKC for dinner with some good friends (again to celebrate Matt's birthday, which meant lots of good food for me!). Also got to spend one last night with Matt's parents.

10. Drove from Tulsa back to Chicago, where we arrived exhausted & thrilled to be home after a wonderful trip!

In case you weren't counting the miles of that trip, let me just tell you that we drove 3209 miles, and spent 51 hours in the car! Like I said, it was a LONG trip, but at least it was spread out over 3 1/2 weeks! When we got back to Chicago, we knew our time here was limited, so we're trying to make the most of every moment! We're having a blast (while trying not to be stressed about jobs)! Hope you are having a wonderful summer as well!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Quick Hello....

Well, we haven't fallen off the face of the earth...we've just been traveling A LOT! We've driven from Chicago to Alabama, Alabama to Duncan, Duncan to Tulsa & back again. We'll be going back to Chicago in about a week & then I'll try to give a real update! We have been busy (still waiting to hear about jobs), but have loved getting to spend some time with family! Hope all is well with you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're off to see...

The Wizard! A few weeks ago, Matt surprised me with tickets to see the Wizard of Oz at the historic Chicago Theater! I was so excited! Apparently he bought the tickets last semester when he heard that the show would be playing in Chicago. He knows me well! So, one lovely Saturday afternoon we were off to the theater. It was such a nice day, and the play was wonderful! Matt especially enjoyed the fact that they had a real dog to play Toto! I think I may have been more excited than all the 5 year old girls that were there (although many of them dressed up like Dorothy!) Since the play was only in Chicago for a short time, the set wasn't as elaborate as the set of Wicked, but the show was still great. It was a wonderful afternoon spent somewhere over the rainbow!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Job Search...

Please keep Matt and I in your prayers as we continue to look for jobs. His job hunt has been ongoing for quite awhile now, and I think we're both starting to get frustrated with it. We are trying to be patient & trust that God will work it out...but sometimes my patience fails me! We appreciate your prayers!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Matt's Graduation...

Well, it's 2:24 am and I should probably be in bed or grading papers. But, I was tired of grading papers and Matt seems to have passed his insomnia off to me (since he is already in bed). I have so many things to post, but Matt and I are now sharing a computer so I haven't had much time! Don't worry...I will update with pictures from our exciting lives soon. But tonight, I need to post about the most important event in our recent history...Matt graduated from his LLM program! Sunday, May 17th was his graduation day. He graduated WITH HONORS (so far he still has a 4.0 gpa...we're still waiting on the rest of his grades). I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of him. It was such a wonderful day as we celebrated with all of his classmates. There were over 400 graduates (this included the JD students, as well as all of the LLM programs), so the ceremony was 2 hours long! A justice on the Illinois supreme court was the speaker, they awarded 3 honorary doctorates, gave out several awards to JD students and professors, and spent 45 minutes handing out diplomas! Like I said, it was a long ceremony, but I was so proud when they finally got to the LLM students & Matt and all of his "foreign" friends walked across the stage. I lovingly call them the "foreigners" because they're all from different countries. Following the ceremony, there was a wonderful reception & we took lots of pictures of this momentus occasion. Here are a few pictures of the wonderful day:

Matt & me at the reception


Outside after graduation:


Matt's dressed & ready to go:


Matt and the foreigners (clockwise from left: Alonso from Mexico, Matt, Rafi from Puerto Rico, Gioncarlo from El Salvador, Fatma from Turkey, Lauri from Paraguay):


I took a video of Matt's LLM section (LLM in International Business and Trade). I know graduations aren't too fun to watch, but I thought the family that was unable to be with us to celebrate would enjoy watching Matt walk across the stage! Be sure your volume is turned up and press play. Enjoy!

video
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day. It's now 3 am (videos take awhile to upload) so I am going to try to get some sleep!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Refrigerator Artwork...

We have some very special artwork adorning our refrigerator. First, is a picture from Caleb & I love it! According to him, it is a picture of me and him (although it says Lori & Matt in the corner). He sent it all the way from California! Thanks, Caleb, your picture is wonderful!


Next, we have a masterpiece drawn by Chloe. This is a close likeness of Uncle Matt that she drew on Easter Sunday while he was leading singing. It is also a great artistic creation! Both art pieces are proudly displayed on our fridge for us to see everyday.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

*Update* Kentucky Fried Chicken...

Well, Matt and I tried to take the suggestion from Lindsy's Blog and visit KFC for some of their new grilled chicken. Oprah had a coupon on her website for a free 2 piece meal, and I'm all about some free food! Matt has been wanting to try the new chicken, so this was a perfect chance! In spite of the thunder and lightning, and the weather forecast that said it would be raining for the rest of the night, we decided to brave the weather and head to KFC. The closest one is kind of far away, so we walk the block to the bus stop, hop on the bus, the back of my pants get wet from the wet seats (I'm hoping this was from the rain!), sit in traffic, wait, wait, make a detour for construction, get off the bus, walk 3 blocks, see the KFC sign, eagerly approach the door, and STOP. The sign on the door apologetically explained that KFC will be closed until NEXT WEEK to "update equipment." REALLY?!? We braved the storm for nothing?! Matt was very upset & very hungry. But, no big deal. We walked a few more blocks (still in the rain) and ate at one of our favorite pizza places. We certainly weren't going to go all the way back home with no food! I guess we'll try again next week for KFC! Lindsy, thanks for the coupon tip...hopefully we can use it soon!

**Update: KFC Take 2 was also unsuccessful. Today Matt and I had to run an errand to the south side of the Loop, and there is another KFC down there. So, we grabbed our coupon & headed out. As we approach the door, we see another sign..."No Grilled Chicken." Again? Really? Since we're hungry, we go ahead and head inside to get some plain ol' fried chicken. We ask the manager why they don't have grilled chicken & he said the equipment for it is broken & it will take 6 weeks before they have it. Hmm... When we got home, Matt looked online & it said they are no longer accepting the coupons. So much for free food. Now we have paid to eat out twice when we were trying to eat out for free. So the free food coupon cost us $30. Nice.**

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Tiny Kitchen...

So I have mentioned before that it's slightly difficult to cook in our "kitchen" since we only have one inch of countertop. I thought I would show you what it looks like on a typical night when I'm cooking dinner...






I wasn't making an elaborate meal, just cheese dip and quesadillas. Notice the cheese grater, plate, and cutting board precariously balanced on the edge of the sink. Also notice that the skillet and pan are touching each other while sitting on the burners (no, these aren't extra large pans)! It definitely makes for some interesting cooking experiences (sometimes I burn myself, other times I knock things in the floor or the sink). But, I won't complain because, after all, we do live in downtown Chicago & the weather is starting to get BEAUTIFUL!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Chicago...

I thought I would post some pics of the places we spend our time around Chicago. They're mostly places around our neighborhood. I haven't taken pictures of all the places I wanted to show you, but I keep forgetting to take my camera with me. Maybe I'll remember if it ever stops raining.

This is our building. I think I've posted this picture before, but it's the only one I have! We love the location of our apartment...it's near everything! We wouldn't mind if we had 2 rooms instead of 1 though!


This is our local Starbucks. It's about 3 blocks away, and Matt likes to call it his "office." I call it my "living room." This is where I met the infamous "Starbucks Girls" that I mentioned in previous posts. Funny fact, Matt and I saw the girls for the 3rd time yesterday when we were there!


I absolutely love this little area of our neighborhood. It's referred to as the Rush Street Triangle, and it's a block from our house. There are lots of restaurants and stores, and in the middle there is a fountain and tables. It's so charming! Matt and I had a picnic out there when the weather was nice last week. I'll have to get a better picture now that the trees are green and some flowers are planted.


We also spend a lot of time at Corner Bakery. I guess it could be called our "dining room," although we don't really eat there. It's our alternate option when we don't want to go to Starbucks to work. We like to switch it up so the employees don't get sick of seeing us at their place everyday! On more than one occasion I've gotten a free cookie for agreeing to fill out an online survey about their store...love it!


The only place in this post not within walking distance in this post is Matt's school. I don't know if it's one of his favorite places in Chicago, but he spends a lot of time there (and that's why we live in Chicago) so I thought it was blog worthy!


Well, that's all the pictures I have for now. I just realized that it looks like it is really cold in all these pictures. Some of them were taken awhile back when it was cold. We're still having weather with highs in the 50's, but we have had a few 70 degree days mixed in there! On the warm days, I love Chicago even more!

Please keep praying for Matt's job search. There are a few possibilities floating around, but nothing is nailed down yet. Right now, it looks like we'll be back in Montgomery. We're excited about that possibility, and that Matt has some prospects, but also growing weary of the waiting and wondering what will happen next! Also, I'm on the hunt for a teaching job, so if anyone knows of any openings, let me know!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Traveling and Visitors...

Well, since the last time I posted, Matt and I have been busy, busy, busy! It all started out with the Jones School of Law Moot Court team coming to town for a few days. Since Matt loves Moot Court (and I've come to love it after watching countless practices and rounds when Matt was in it), we wanted to support them and go to their rounds. They were here for 4 days & there was all sorts of excitement! Not only did they invite us along for their delicious dinners, but we got to see them advance all the way to the national finals! What a great accomplishment! They had a tough panel of judges in the final round, but I thought they should have won (but I'm sure I'm a little biased). Anyway, it was a pleasure getting to spend time with them and getting to see Matt support the program he was so involved in during school.

Shortly after their departure, Matt and I headed to Novinger, Missouri to spend time with his family over Easter weekend. And, now that Heath (his cousin) and Brook (my cousin) are engaged, I got to see a member of my side of the family too! It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend with so much delicious food! Here are some pics from the fun weekend...

(click to enlarge)

We brought Jen, Heather, & the nieces back to Chicago with us for a few days which was so much fun!! We went to the Field Museum, the Lincoln Park zoo, the Hancock Building, and lots of fun restaurants (I've just noticed that I have mentioned food several times in this blog...guess I love food!). We also squished into our tiny apartment, laughed a lot at Allie's silly faces and singing in her sleep, helped Chloe write some wonderful papers about her trip, and saw that both Chloe & Allie have their Uncle Matt wrapped around their fingers. I think my favorite quote from the trip was when Chloe said, "Mom, can I take a bath tonight? I need a break from Allie." When Chloe had finished with her bath that night, she came out of the bathroom and Allie said, "Chloe, that wasn't a very long break from me." Those girls crack me up! Here are some pics from that trip to enjoy...

(click to enlarge)

To top off all our traveling fun, Matt and I made a spur of the moment trip back to Alabama. Actually, we left Chicago the same day that the girls left! Matt was asked to be a judge on the final panel of the 1L Moot Court tournament. Again, he loved being able to participate in the Moot Court program & see the Board of Advocates continuing to flourish after he worked so hard on it last year. We also both had the chance to do some "networking" for job possibilities in case we move back there. (By the way, we are pretty much planning to go back to Montgomery unless something unexpected comes along in Texas.) Spending time with our friends was, of course, the highlight of the trip! We had lunches and dinners with a lot of them (again with the food focus), as well as staying with Stephen and Kayla. Oh, well the highlight of the trip for Matt was probably actually getting to see Lucy! Sorry friends, you come behind Man's Best Friend!! More pictures to enjoy...


After all of that excitement, Matt and I were glad to be back in our tiny apartment with a few days to rest and relax. Well, Matt can't relax too much because he has 2 papers and several briefs to write in the next couple of weeks! We don't have much planned for the next few weeks, but I'm sure we'll find something to keep us entertained in the exciting city of Chicago!!

P.S. I chopped off my hair while I was in Alabama!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Starbuck's Girls...

For those of you who are loyal readers of this blog, you may remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I was eavesdropping on the conversation of some High School girls at Starbuck's. Well, let me just say, I am hanging out at Corner Bakery this afternoon and the SAME GIRLS are here! They're only 1 table over from me. Seriously. Their conversation isn't quite as exciting today, although I think they are talking about one of the girls who was there for the last conversation but is not present today. Interesting. I'll keep listening & keep you posted if I hear any other juicy bits of info!

Spring Break, etc...

Well, things have been busy around here lately! 2 weeks ago we had our friends, Stephen & Kayla, visiting for Spring Break. 4 of us squished into our tiny apartment was definitely an adventure, but we had so much fun! We toured the city, went to the zoo, ate at some WONDERFUL restaurants, convinced Steve to go up to the 96th floor of the Hancock Building (in spite of his fear of heights) & just truly enjoyed having good friends to spend time with. What a blessing they were to us (not to mention, they let our dog, Lucy, live with them while we're living here)!


Last week was filled with substituting, editing a book, and training to be a teaching assistant for me. I subbed 3 days at a private, Christian school which was great! I'm training to be a teaching assistant for Ashford University. They have a large online program, and I will be grading papers, etc for introductory English & Psychology classes. I think I will enjoy it! Matt was busy with school & writing briefs. Not to mention, we started our new running program last week! Matt has already lost 3 pounds, but I'm still just stuck at the same weight. Oh well, such is life! I'm still not a fan of running, and I don't foresee myself becoming a running fanatic, but each day got a little better. We'll see how it goes as the distance we have to run increases.

The next 2 weeks hold more excitement, and more visitors! At the end of this week, the Jones School of Law Moot Court team will be here for the National Competition. We look forward to seeing them compete, as well as showing them around the city & spending time with friends! Next week, Matt and I are taking the Amtrack to Kirksville, to see Matt's family. His sisters, nieces, and Heath & Brook are all meeting us in Kirksville for the weekend. We'll stay with Heath's parents and spend lots of time with everyone. It should be a great way to spend Easter Weekend. Then, Heather, Jen & the nieces will come back to Chicago with us to spend a few days! So, we'll continue to stay busy, but we're looking forward to it! I hope everyone is doing well, and having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Running...

Well, Matt and I started a new workout routine yesterday. We were inspired by our friends Steven & Kayla last week while they were here. The workout plan is supposed to prepare you for a 10K run in 10 weeks, and we're also adding in a little weightlifting. I don't mind the weights, I actually kind of like that part. But, for those of you who know me well, you know that I don't run. It's mostly my knee's fault...they like to get swollen when I run. Actually, I think I just blame it on the knees. They do get swollen, but the truth is I just HATE running. I wish I was one of those cool people who think running is wonderful and feel great when they run a thousand miles. Like my cousin, Brook. She runs marathons, and I'm jealous that I can't get inspired. The whole time I'm on the treadmill, I just think about how I wish I was anywhere but there! Anyway, I decided that I would suck it up and try this workout plan with Matt. Pray that I don't pass out while trying to run less than a mile at a time this week! Did I mention I'm a HUGE wimp? I am. So...we'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patty's Day


Well, to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Matt and I headed downtown to the St. Patty's Day parade. It was actually on Saturday, so a few days early, but it was festive nonetheless. Lots of green, lots of people, and lots of unions (I think every union in the state was in the parade!). The parade was 3 hours long, but it was a beautiful day so we enjoyed every minute! Here are some pictures for you to enjoy...

(click to enlarge)

Top row, from left: A dog dyed green, Happy St. Patty's Day!, the Green River, The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, and a Green Elvis
Middle row, from left: A festive car, A large leprechaun, tiny little leprechaun, a fun floating balloon, and A bagpiper
Bottom row, from left: The pope on roller-skates, A smokestacker, Matt & me, color guard leading the parade, and the best treat ever given out at a parade!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Nothing New...

So, not much has been happening around here lately. Things have been pretty quiet, as Matt is in full-swing with his classes and work, and I try to find ways to keep myself entertained. I have had lots of time to read, and have enjoyed sitting in Starbuck’s, Barnes & Noble, or the Corner Bakery reading & people watching. One day, I overheard some high school girls having a very serious conversation about their friendship. It was a group of 5 girls, and apparently some of them used to be much closer than they are now, and they all seemed very upset about it. I’m ashamed to say that their conversation kept me entertained for a good hour. I wanted to go back to Starbuck’s the following day because they made plans to meet again to finish the discussion, but I forgot to go back. Hopefully their relationship problems have been resolved & they’re all friends again!

Other than eavesdropping on unsuspecting high school girls, I really haven’t been too busy! I obtained a substitute certificate from the Illinois Board of Education, only to find out that Chicago only allows Illinois-certified Teachers to substitute. So, that was a $30 lesson learned. I am on the list to sub for some private schools, but I guess their teachers don’t miss work very often. One teacher did ask me to sub on March 27th. I guess he likes to get his subs signed up early! That should be fun…he teaches 7th & 8th graders. This week I have started editing three chapters of a book, and will soon begin training to be an online teaching assistant with a university. So, hopefully these 2 endeavors will keep me busy!

As far as Matt’s job search goes, he still hasn’t gotten any offers from Texas. The economy seems to be hitting lawyers hard, as he read an article recently that said 1400 lawyers had been laid off nationwide in the last week. Another article reported 4000 lawyers being laid off in the last couple of months. These statistics are not promising for the job search. This has, however, led us to consider the possibility of the Air Force JAG more seriously. Matt was accepted to the JAG before he began his LLM program here in Chicago, and requested that he be able to postpone his acceptance of the offer until after the completion of the LLM. Obviously, there are pros and cons to be considered before accepting the JAG offer. We have been fervently discussing this option, and praying that God will show us his plan for the next phase of our lives. We would certainly appreciate prayers on our behalf in this area. Sometimes I don’t feel old enough to make such big, life-changing decisions, but I guess I am that old! Well, I better close for now. Matt is sleeping soundly, and I should get to bed as well. I’m sure tomorrow holds another adventure in the Windy City!

Friday, February 27, 2009

American Gothic...

I'm sure you have all seen the famous "American Gothic" painting in some form or another through the years. The picture of the man with the pitchfork and the woman in front of an old farmhouse. But have you ever seen them in GIGANTIC statue form? Matt and I ran across this exhibit one day as we were walking down Michigan Avenue. As a point of reference, that is me standing next to the suitcase in the second picture. I'm serious when I say it is gigantic!